Fell and Fair: 7. 9 April, Morning

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7. 9 April, Morning

Morning of 9 April

Galadriel, greeting Elladan and Elrohir

Since Formenos, the scions of Finwë, warriors all, have ever been fated to fight. Death came to all but a few, my brothers not least, in defence of what they loved in Endor. Elladan and Elrohir inherit that harsh heritage.

I end my musing to greet our newly-arrived grandsons, invoking the traditional blessing over lembas for their journey:

"May this gift of sustenance from Yavanna,
Lady of all that grows on earth,
confer upon you:
strength of fëa,
stamina of hröa,
steadiness of judgement,
staunchness of loyalty, and
steadfastness of courage."

Then I kiss these two worthy heirs on the brow.

Celeborn, appraising Gondor's situation

"This invasion is clearly well-planned. The Power behind it reveals uncommon cunning, not seen on this scale since the line of Anárion was broken. That troubles me.

"Calenardhon is Gondor's weakest borderland. Once thriving, its population has dwindled, its defences decayed.

"I deem that the Steward has divided his forces. Some he left to defend his eastern marches; the rest he leads northwards, much as did Ondoher. As then, so now is the northern army too far extended.

"It may already be doomed to destruction, allowing the enemy to march on Minas Tirith."

The twins nod gravely.

"Gondor could fall."

Galadriel, conveying tidings from her Mirror

"Flames of war are again kindled in Gondor. I, too, suspect the cruel hand of Shadow; what else could compel such unlikely collusion between sworn enemies?

"The Mirror confirms the Steward's army is even now in desperate straits, harried through Calenardhon towards Limlaith... to be surrounded within days. Battle, bloody and long, will be joined on Parth Celebrant.

"The Riders approach Loeg Ningloron. Once across Anduin, head north to seek them, keeping near the River.

"With the foreknowledge you impart, these Northmen may yet ward off Gondor's defeat — but time is short, and success uncertain.

"May the Valar guide you!"

Celeborn, recommending tactics

"Anduin may only be forded by so many Riders together south of the Limlaith, where it flows into the great loops. You must then turn back northwards, crossing Limlaith to reach the battlefield.

"While you each have much experience skirmishing with Orcs, this combined force of Orcs and Easterlings is ominous. If the Mirror scries rightly, such hosts have not been marshalled since Ondoher fell.

"Galadriel's mist will afford you the advantage of surprise; even so, stay alert lest you be outflanked.

"And do not underrate these Balchoth. Though they be Men, they are fierce warriors, long steeped in Darkness."

Elladan, approaching Arwen

Our grandparents' briefings complete, several lembas-maidens bring forth provisions. We thank them and fill our bags with bundles of lembas-cakes and skins of water from the crystalline springs of Lórien.

Arwen stands apart. Since childhood, she has fondly bid us fare well on untold Imladris patrols — but today she seems subdued. Outwardly tranquil, I sense her turmoil over our departure, mere months after Mother's sailing.

Though she has received archery training, never has Arwen trod a true warrior's path: neither sought danger to uproot it, nor taken a life to save another.

How can I help our heavy-hearted sister understand?

Arwen, having doubts

"My dear brothers, I cannot bear to lose you, too!"

Elladan enfolds me till I master myself.

"Arwen, when Mother sailed, Elrohir and I vowed to do aught in our power to protect all Free Peoples. This battle may see good Men fall — or live to stave off Darkness awhile longer. We can make a difference, no matter how slight, if we stand with them.

"Can you forgive us, Sister?"

I nod, embarrassed by my outburst.

"Have faith, Arwen," Elrohir adds. "Grandmother foresees our safe return."

From whence? Mandos? The Mirror can mislead!

Embracing them, I stifle my traitorous thoughts.

Arwen, saying farewell

Ever have Elladan and Elrohir regarded me with love and delight in their eyes. While their delight in all things has dimmed since Mother sailed, I know their love will endure to the end of Arda.

Now, 'tis my turn to lend them support: a send-off befitting these great warriors.

"Your valour makes me proud, my brothers!"

I kiss each on the cheek.

"Be strong. Guard well each other's back." But....

I cannot resist pleading, "Come back whole!"

I return their brilliant smiles, before they turn away to take leave of Grandmother.

I will save my weeping till solitude allows.

Galadriel, saying farewell

"Undertaking this perilous duty shows great compassion. Celebrían will be proud when she learns of it."

Elrohir winces at her name; I lay my hand on his shoulder.

"Do not fault your absence for her capture; had you led her escort, you, too, would be slain.

"Though I do not comprehend Ilúvatar's designs, I do trust that they have purpose. You were meant to live on.

"And you will meet your mother again."

I smile at both. "Arwen voiced many of the parting thoughts I had planned. Only this would I add: know that you are loved and needed here!"

Celeborn, saying farewell

They salute, taking their warriors' leave from me. But, though I am commander here, I am also grandfather.

Their Man-dappled blood has ever called them to the struggles of Men against all Dark creatures. Now Orcs, above all, draw their implacable enmity.

Arwen weeps, not wishing her belovéd brethren to risk battle. But there is no need to implore them to return alive: the echoes of mighty Elu and fiery Elmo reverberate in their hearts. Have I not myself honed their war-skills with the prowess of the Galadhrim?

They are warriors. They do what they must.

I return their salute.

Elrohir, hours later, crossing Anduin

The barge rocks from the boatmen rowing us across Anduin, the rhythmic swish of oars muted by gleaming mist.

The fog thins as Lórien recedes; we emerge into dazzling sunshine. Suldal lifts his muzzle to sniff the freshening breeze, keen against our cheeks.

Narothal twitches, startled by the suddenly-loud oars, but stills at Elladan's soft murmurs and gentling hand.

As we land, insight flares in my mind: all our years of training — for diplomacy or war — served but to ready us for this very task. Elladan grows thoughtful at this revelation.

Oddly reassured, we urge our mounts north towards destiny.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Elena Tiriel

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/21/09

Original Post: 04/18/05

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Fell and Fair

Elena Tiriel - 14 Dec 06 - 9:34 PM

Ch. 7: 9 April, Morning

"Man-dappled blood"--what a wonderful turn of phrase, at so many levels!



Hi Adaneth!

Thank you so much! Your comment did indeed cheer me, tremendously!

The word limits on drabbles can be a challenge. We must find ways to say a lot in few words, rather than many -- but I find that sometimes this is liberating, rather than constraining... Thank you for recognizing this!

- Barbara

Fell and Fair

Jay of Lasgalen - 25 Jun 07 - 1:47 PM

Ch. 7: 9 April, Morning

Thank you for this wonderful update!  There are two parts I particularly love - Galadriel's musings on the fate of the males in her family, destined to be warriors; and Elrohir's thoughts as they cross the Anduin that all their training was focused on that moment.  It's a chilling thought.

I love the lembas blessing too - the qualities and strengths it confers seem to sum up the twins so well!


Fell and Fair

Elena Tiriel - 26 Jun 07 - 5:46 AM

Ch. 7: 9 April, Morning

Hi Jay!

Thank you for this wonderful update!

You're very welcome! I actually wrote the new drabbles a couple of months ago, but Real Life got in the way... I really had to force myself to polish them and finish the Author's Notes.

There are two parts I particularly love - Galadriel's musings on the fate of the males in her family, destined to be warriors; and Elrohir's thoughts as they cross the Anduin that all their training was focused on that moment.  It's a chilling thought.

Thank you! Yes, the twins come from a long line of warriors who mostly didn't live out their full lives... and who were obsessed with protecting what they value, for good or bad. I am trying to show how the twins became obsessed with protecting all Free Peoples; which I think is considerably more honorable than protecting jewels....

I love the lembas blessing too - the qualities and strengths it confers seem to sum up the twins so well!

Thanks! I really struggled with that blessing, and it doesn't really sound all that Elven to my ear... but I think it suits the occasion well enough.

Jay, I so appreciate hearing that you enjoyed the drabbles, and especially which parts pleased you most. Your comments have really made my day... Thank you!

- Barbara

Fell and Fair

Larner - 22 Oct 09 - 10:11 AM

Ch. 7: 9 April, Morning

The warriors are now keen to be about their trade.

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Elena Tiriel - Star Gazings - 180 posts

I am a new author who is serious about improving my writing. Your comments, both positive and negative, will be treasured, evaluated, and incorporated freely!

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

My fiction includes:

Fell and Fair (for the Sons of Elrond at the Field of Celebrant and the Alternate Perspectives Challenges)

ET's Legolas Song Parodies (for the International Legolas Month Song Parody Palooza Challenge)

Famous First Lines (for the It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Challenge)

Holiday Carols, Middle Earth-style (for the Carols in Middle-earth Challenge)

and numerous drabbles, including: Alas, Poor Ufthak!

I also compiled many entries for the HASA Resource Library, including the following small sampling:

Interesting People to Meet & Greet:
Orophin & Rúmil, The Bardings, and The Beornings

Cool Places to See & Be Seen:
The Elf-path, The Forest Gate, The High Pass of Rivendell, The Old Forest Road, Undertowers, The Westmarch, and Libraries of the Shire

Wild Fauna to Look (Out) For:
Black Squirrels, Butterflies, Hunting Dogs, The Kine of Araw, Giant Bats, Giant Moths, and Giant Spiders

Toothsome Treats to Eat:
Honey-cakes of the Beornings

Magical Powers to Admire (from a safe distance):
The Unlight of Ungoliant

Great Literature to Read:
The Red Book, The Thain's Book - Annotated Copy of the Red Book, Findegil's Copy of the Thain's Book, The Akallabêth, Herblore of the Shire, Old Words and Names in the Shire, The Reckoning of Years, The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, The Tale of Years, and Translations from the Elvish

Important Events to Remember:
The Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs, and The Battle of Dale and Siege of Erebor

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